On Thursday, President Biden claimed that “sanctions never deter” when asked by a reporter why his sanctions were unable to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine.
“Sir, deterrence didn’t work,” a reporter said. “What makes you think Vladimir Putin will alter course based on the action you’ve taken today?”
“Let’s get something straight. Do you remember, if you covered me from the very beginning, I did not say that, in fact, the sanctions would deter him,” Biden claimed. “Sanctions never deter. You keep talking about that. Sanctions never deter. The maintenance of sanctions, the maintenance of sanctions, the increasing the pain, and the demonstration why I asked for this NATO meeting today is to be sure that after a month, we will sustain what we’re doing, not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year. That’s what will stop him.”
“You believe the actions today will have an impact on making Russia change course in Ukraine?” the reporter pressed.
“That’s not what I said. You’re playing a game with me,” Biden claimed. “I know. The answer is no. I think what happens is we have to demonstrate — the purpose, the single most important thing is for us to stay unified, and the world continue to focus on what a brute this guy is. And all the innocent people’s lives that are being lost and ruined, and what’s going on. That’s the important thing. But look, if you’re Putin, and you think that the Europe is going to crack in a month, or six weeks, or two months. Why not, they can take anything for another month. But we have to demonstrate. The reason I asked for the meeting, we have to stay fully, totally, thoroughly united.”
WATCH: Joe Biden SNAPS at reporter's question about effectiveness of sanctions and deterrence on Putin
CBS's @EenaRuffini: “Sir deterrence didn’t work”
Biden: “Let’s get something straight. I did not say sanctions would deter him. Sanctions never deter…“ pic.twitter.com/RRh6sf4uSt
— TV News Now (@TVNewsNow) March 24, 2022
However, just days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vice President Kamala Harris said that the point of the sanctions “has always been and continues to be deterrence.”
BIDEN, TODAY: "No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening."
HARRIS, SUNDAY: "The purpose of the sanctions has always been and continues to be deterrence." pic.twitter.com/gIhTmRpXJb
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 24, 2022
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki echoed Harris’ comments, saying that the purpose of the sanctions was to “prevent and deter a large-scale invasion of Ukraine.”
“Sanctions are not an end to themselves. They serve a higher purpose. And that purpose is to deter and prevent,” Psaki said. “They’re meant to prevent and deter a large-scale invasion of Ukraine that could involve the seizure of major cities, including Kyiv. They’re meant to prevent large-scale human suffering that could involve tens of thousands of casualties in a conflict. And they’re meant to prevent the installation of a puppet government, controlled by Moscow, that subjugates the will of Ukraine and prevents the people of Ukraine from choosing their own destiny and setting their own course. That’s what this is all about.”
Biden Admin Announces Eased Restrictions On Cuba
On Monday, the Biden administration announced that it is easing restrictions on Cuba in order to help support the Cuban people.
“The Cuban people are confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis — and our policy will continue to focus on empowering the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering,” the State Department said.
The Biden administration’s changes include reduced restrictions on travel, along with removing “the current limit on family remittances of $1,000 per quarter per sender-receiver pair and will authorize donative (i.e., non-family) remittances, which will support independent Cuban entrepreneurs.”
The move received backlash as many argued that reduced restrictions on Cuba will only benefit the Cuban dictatorship. According to Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the decision marks another policy failure by President Biden.
“Biden’s plan to prop up the Cuban dictatorship represents yet another failure when it comes to standing for freedom in our hemisphere,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.
“Money from ‘tourism’ will go into the pockets of the Cuban regime – and will help fortify the government against those seeking freedom in Cuba,” he added.
Biden's plan to prop up the Cuban dictatorship represents yet another failure when it comes to standing for freedom in our hemisphere.
Money from "tourism" will go into the pockets of the Cuban regime – and will help fortify the government against those seeking freedom in Cuba.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 17, 2022
The news comes a week after DeSantis announced that November 7 will now be Victims of Communism Day in Florida.
“Today, I established November 7th as Victims of Communism Day to honor those who have suffered under communism and remind people of the destruction communism has caused worldwide, including a death toll exceeding 100 million,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter. “In Florida, we will tell the truth about communism.”
Report: Ukraine Sunk Russian Warship By Using US Intel
Ukraine sunk the Russian warship Moskva last month using United States intelligence, according to a new report from NBC News.
“A guided missile cruiser carrying a crew of 510, the Moskva was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” NBC News reported. “It sank on April 14 after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles, U.S. officials said. Moscow said the vessel sank after a fire. The Moskva was the largest Russian warship sunk in combat since World War II. American officials said there were significant Russian casualties, but they don’t know how many.”
“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the outlet added. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.”
The news comes the day after a report from The New York Times revealed that the United States has provided Ukraine with intelligence on Russian military units that has enabled the country to kill multiple Russian generals.
“The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine,” The New York Times reported. “That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.”
“The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently,” the outlet added. “Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence — including intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officers — to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.”
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